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Excavations At Piprahwa And Ganwaria
By: K.M. Srivastava

Excavations At Piprahwa And Ganwaria, K.M. Srivastava

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Author: K.M. Srivastava
Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: 1996

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Product Code: 15978

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The excavations at Piprahwa-Ganwaria had behind them the cherished ambition of transforming a dream into reality. The lost town of Kapilavastu, where Lord Buddha spent the first twenty-nine years of his life before renouncing the world in quest of emancipation of 'huntanity at large had to be located. For the archaeologists it was a subject of avid concern on account of being the native place of Buddha, where his father Suddhodana ruled as the chief of the Sakyas. The religion of Buddhism preached by Buddha flourished in India for about five hundred years and got extinct from the land of its birth sometime in the twelfth century A.D. with such a sweeping impact that even the names of the most important towns associated with it went into oblivion. Kapilavastu happened to be one amongst them.
Engulfed in complete darkness, the scholars made a beginning in the direction of locating Kapilavastu like a wild goose chase. Armed with one clue or the other, they enjoyed the liberty of declaring any place as Kapilavastu. Instead of keeping the doors open for the exact identification of the site, tliey attempted to justify their stand with all emphasis in a wholesale subjective manner, sometimes delving into wild imaginations, of which details in a limited number of cases have been presented in the book. The identification, however, developed into a lively interest in the closing years of the nineteenth century, when the inscribed Asokan pillar at Lumbini and the inscribed soapstone casket at Piprahwa were brought to light by A. Fuhrer, a German scholar and W.C. Peppe, an English landlord at Birdpur in the years 1896 and 1898 respectively. Inspite of the fact that the inscription on the casket, supported by the distance from Lumbini recorded by the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hien, were considered by certain scholars to be adequate enough to proclaim Piprahwa as Kapilavastu, yet the declaration made by A. Fuhrer in 1896 continued to outweigh the balance in favour of Tilaurakot.
It has generally been observed that the Indian scholars are carried away and overwhelmed by the opinion and views of a foreigner, without caring the least to analyse the available evidence and strike at the truth. A. Fuhrer took the privilege of indulging in the activities of greatest intellectual dishonesty to convince the scholars in any manner, so far as the identification of Kapilavastu was concerned. He did not hesitate to wantonly destroy a large number of structures on the banks of a large tank called Sagar in Sagarahwa village near Tilaurakot. In the guise of excavations, seventeen so-called square stupas and a conspicuously large structure, also considered to be a stupa and attached with a monastery, were ransacked right up to the foundation, in search of treasures and reliquaries and above all to corroborate his own identification of Kapilavastu.

Excavations At Piprahwa And Ganwaria, K.M. Srivastava, Hardcover, 1996, 378 Pages and 124 B/W Plates, $80.00

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